Illinois State Sweeps Creighton with 6-2 win Sunday
April 11, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. - Illinois State knocked nine hits and scored all of its runs with two outs while sweeping Creighton in a 6-2 win at CU Sports Complex Sunday. The Redbirds went 3-0 over the weekend against the Bluejays and moved into first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 5-1 league record.
Illinois State's number nine hitter Brett Kay broke up a perfect game bid by Creighton (14-12, 3-6 MVC) starter Ty Blach with a two-out line drive up the middle in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kay stopped the streak of retired batters to open the game at 17 - his own jersey number - and later scored the Redbirds' first run on a single by Chad Hinshaw. It was the first of three runs in the inning for Illinois State (15-14, 5-1 MVC) and the first of six runs in the final four innings with two outs on the board.
"Their pitcher was throwing well and was in a good rhythm," Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "Brett Kay getting on base was the turning point for our offense. After that we were able to make things happen with speed and quality at-bats. Our pitchers threw strikes and our defense has continued to improve. We played well in all phases."
The game had the makings of a pitcher's duel from the beginning as Blach and Illinois State starter Ryan Camp combined to retire the first 15 batters of the game. Camp surrendered the first of just three hits allowed to lead off the bottom of the third inning, a solo home run by Ian Dike. Creighton scratched across another run in the bottom of the fifth but Camp notched his second quality start of the season with six strikeouts and no walks in six innings.
Blach was cruising through the Redbird lineup for the second time when Kay came to the plate with two outs in the sixth and knocked just his second hit of the series. Kay knocked two more before the end of the game, part of nine Illinois State hits after the fifth inning. After Hinshaw's single scored Kay in the sixth, Kevin Tokarski and Hinshaw completed a double steal and were driven in by Matt Mirabal. Illinois State stole four bases in the sixth while scoring three runs in the sixth.
Kay provided another two out hit in the seventh, this time with two runners in scoring position, to make it 5-2 Illinois State. Zach Amrein added a solo home run with two outs in the ninth to complete the Illinois State scoring. Kay finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base. Amrein was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Illinois State pitcher Ryan Copeland struck out two in three perfect innings of relief to earn his first save of the season. Copeland threw four scoreless while earning the win in Friday's series opener.
"Ryan (Copeland) has really taken to his new role," Kingston said. "It seems like a perfect niche for him. This will allow him to get more appearances, and they will all be important. He gave us a tremendous lift."
The Redbirds welcome Purdue to Duffy Bass Field Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. - a dollar day at the ballpark, with tickets and hot dogs for $1. Illinois State defeated Purdue, 5-2, earlier this season in West Lafayette, Ind.
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